Now You See Him!

I took this photo through the bedroom window this afternoon, just before whiteout conditions. And then….

NOW YOU DON’T!

Wow, he was nearly in the exact same pose, too!

I wondered what the little fellow was doing, hanging on for literally an hour or so.  It was only after looking at that first photo that I saw he had been doing a bit of “pecking” on my small Maple tree!!

We didn’t get much snow today, maybe three or four inches, total.  In looking at the forecast this week, looks like we are in for more warmer weather.  Drat!  I was hoping we might have a nice, snowy March to look forward to some snowmobiling, but that precious window of opportunity is growing smaller and smaller as the months progress….

We Almost had it All!

Hang in there….

The day dawned quite dismal.  No, it definately was *very* dismal.  The grey skies were with us throughout the day although the temperature wasn’t bad at all.  It wasn’t warm, but it certainly wasn’t cold. 

The kids had plans.  Jacob (Michelle’s boyfriend)  had a birthday earlier in the week, so the kids and some friends agreed to all go out for dinner and then they were going bowling.  Jacob came by to pick Michelle and Ben up late in the afternoon, so Murphy and I decided to play….

Murphy loves….no, adores, playing with balls.  It is so much fun to watch him because he “bops” the ball off his nose, then goes and chases after it.  For anyone not familiar with Scotties,  their teeth are nearly the size of those of a much larger dog…I have seen them compared to a German Shepherd.  Those are large teeth!  In spite of those big chompers, Murphy is so gentle with the ball….he never “bites” into it, but rather gently follows its curves.

This was the best I could do when he crouches down with his bum up in the air, playing.  He just zooms about like a rocket, moving sooo incredibly fast!

In this picture, Murphy is poised….waiting for me to try to take the ball! He does this to entice me to grab the ball so he can once again chase after it!

Murphy and I were having such a grand time, playing with the ball and just relaxing together.

Very suddenly,  the sky grew immensely dark and I heard a most curious noise!  I got up and looked out the back door and saw it was hailing!  Not huge pellets, but small ones.  The velocity with which they were coming down from the sky was nearly startling, though!  I quickly bounded upstairs and grabbed my camera, but by the time I got back down again, the hail had stopped and all the little pellets were melted.

Within just a few short minutes, the sky turned from dark to eerily bright and sunny.  With rain.  No, not a sprinkle, but a driving rain.  Big splashes of raindrops!

Living in the northeastern United States, February brings snow.  LOTS of snow sometimes.  Being a pretty cold month, it typically snows a lot and it pretty chilly.  To see rain in February is nearly unheard of…and when thunder let out a roar in the distance, it was just plain freaky.

To add a note of *really* “strange”, the sun came out as the rain was pouring down.  The skies turned blue, the sun was intense, and all the while, the rain continued to beat down from the heavens.  Bizarre…..

I went outside and tried to see if I could spot a rainbow…with the sun shining so brightly and the rain falling, there had to be one.  But,  I never found it.

The sun was moving quickly over the hills to our west, but it made conditions just right to capture just a few photos before it totally disappeared!

This photo, I would call my “photo du jour”.  I just love the sun and the slimy wet trees! It was still raining a bit when I took this one.  It really was quite an amazing weather event.

But. Alas. We. Were. Not. Done.

The winds began to kick up a bit.  Then a bit more.  At one point, I looked out behind the house and as the sun cast a warm golden glow, it was so quiet.  Too quiet. 

We had agreed to pick the kids up in Canandaigua after bowling.  They figured they would finish around ten.  Mark, Murphy, and I left the house shortly after eight.  By then, the wind was howling!  As we drove up the road where there are farms and open fields, I could feel the Subaru swaying the the wind. 

We had a little bit of shopping to do at Wal Mart, so Mark pulled into the lot.  As he surveyed the conditions, he decided to park away from the store on a little raised area.  I grabbed a shopping cart someone left nearby and began walking toward the store.  It was all I could do to stand upright and steer that cart!  At one point,  the cart slammed against a curb in the parking lot and it was all I could do to pull it away from the curb.

As I entered the store,  the greeter (a young girl) was chasing after cardboard stands that greeted customers with movie ads and such.  As the automatic doors opened, the cardboard went flying through the second set of automatic doors,  and into the store!  As I passed by the young lady, I commented how she was “keeping busy” and she told me a plastic garbage container had let loose and went flying as well!  She had to drag it into the store about twenty feet from the doors to keep it upright!

I was grateful to be inside the store, actually.  The wind was even more intense in that parking lot than at home!  I shopped and quickly made my way back to the car.  Mark had to turn it on and run the heat a couple of times as it was getting quite chilly.  We had run into a thick snowsquall on the way to Canandaigua.

We sat and waited in the car until the kids called and then we were on our way once again.  As we made our way home, the snow was pretty intense.  The good news is, it was blowing so hard, all the snow blew to the next county!

So…regarding the title of this post…..we had dark skies, sunshine, rain, hail, wind, and snow!  ALL in one day!

It is now Saturday morning, at almost nine o’clock.  The wind is still making noise, but not nearly like last night.  In looking around the yard, we fared well.  There are some small branches around, but we had a big windstorm just a few weeks ago that did a good job of “pruning”!

So, How was *Your* Day Today?

Mine?  Not so good….

I went out to drive over to visit our neighbors’…..problem is, when I got outside, my remote starter on the Subaru would not work. Drat!  So I climbed inside the car, turned the key, and….nada.  Nothing.  The car would not even make a tiny sound similar to a car being started.  Argh.

I called another neighbor and asked if she might give me a jumpstart.  She came down within minutes.  I was so happy!  We hooked the jumper cables to the batteries and….nada.  Nothing.  I was so frustrated and my neighbor told me to hop in and she would take me up to get her Jeep, which I could use for the day.

I only used the Jeep to visit the other neighbors.  That was so nice of them to let me have it for the day, though!  I don’t think I have ever seen a purple Jeep before.

I called Mark and told him about the Subaru and he called Roadside Assistance.  One of the great bonuses of buying a new car! (He had already left for the day so he didn’t know about my dilemma.)  Within an hour, a very nice man came with to try to jumpstart the car.  He first used a large battery, but it didn’t work.  Not at all.

He scratched his head, then went to the back of the minivan he was driving.  He came back with a set of jumper cables maximus!  I don’t think I have ever seen such an “elaborate” or heavy-duty set.  He secured the cables to the two vehicles and told me to give ‘er a try.  Boom!  She started…immediately!

I was tickled pink.

I went back in the house after my Hero left, and called Mark.  He told me to place a battery charger on the car after running it for half an hour.  He wanted to slowly charge it all the way.  No adventures for me.  Not today.

The weather forecast for today had called for some warmer temps, but we never made it a whole lot over freezing.  Ah well.  I had spent a few hours outside,  so I would happily retreat indoors.  I guess….

In looking at Murphy, I decided it was time for a haircut.  He was looking a bit “rotund”,  and I am so sure he hasn’t gained a lot of weight!  It is that fur!  I got the clippers and my poor little fellow obediently, albeit reluctantly,  came to me, head hanging so low!

I am so grateful I can do my own clipping….it saves so much money, plus,  I am pretty sure Murphy would be terrified by someone else doing the dirty work.  Because all of his “lines” for trimming are well defined,  it doesn’t take long to carve out a proper Scot!  The most time consuming area is his head, but he is rather comfortable letting me clip away.

I love seeing all his brindle-goodness after a haircut.  When it grows out, all the neat “stripes” disappear and he appears much darker than after a trim.  He was so happy, he posed nicely for me. (I did mention a cookie…do you think that helped any?)

As I took that photo, I noticed a basket we had decorated for Christmas.  Well, the ribbon is Christmasy!  The pinecones smell like cinnamon and cloves…mmmm! As I was looking at the basket, the sunlight streaked in through the windows and highlighted the basket!

Well, this is a day I am glad to put behind me.  It came with a bit of stress!  But, as my neighbor commented when I returned the Jeep,  it all worked out in the end!

A Fun Evening Out!

Last night, Mark and I went over to visit with our friends, Jeanne and Ben.  We had *such* a great time visiting!

The last time we visited at Jeanne and Ben’s,  Mark wasn’t able to make it into the house.  The ramps we have for his wheelchair proved to be too short.  So, we all visited in the garage and Ben and Mark even played guitar together there!  The good news is, though,  Ben (like Mark) is a mechanical engineer!  Nearly as soon as we left after our first visit,  Ben was at the drawing board!

When we arrived a bit late last evening, I discovered I had completely forgotten to bring along a walker to help Mark enter the front door….I felt so stupid.  But, as we turned and went up the driveway,  there was no need to fear! Ben, being a good ME,  had thought of everything!  I could not believe the elaborate ramp he had built! The ramp was all built of two by’s and he even added little guides on the sides so the wheelchair wouldn’t veer off the ramps!!  He placed four jackstands underneath to add strength and to keep the ramp from flexing. It was simply amazing!  AND, to add to the strength and durability,  he also added stretchers across to keep the distance between the two separate ramps consistant….there was no need to worry about the ramps straying from one another.

At the top of the stoop,  Ben had placed another small plywood ramp, complete with cleats underneath it for strength, so Mark could roll up and into the house over the short step leading inside.  Ben is certainly a man of detail!!  I so often miss little things like that, but he had already thought well ahead!

Jeanne ordered a pizza and some wings and we had a great time just visiting around the table.  Then it was time for the guys to jam!  Jeanne and I never run out of things to talk and giggle about, so we had a good time visiting!  Jeanne showed me around her beautiful house and her little LadyBug, the Bichon Frise, followed us so faithfully!  Jeanne told me her original owner had passed away so she was a rescue girly.  She is so sweet, and I am so happy she found Jeanne and Ben!  She has the perfect home with their other little Bichon, Chloe.  Chloe hung out with the guys as we sat in the kitchen.

The evening seemed to slip away far too quickly like it always does when we visit!  We had such a great time….Can’t wait till we get together next time!

On a Hike at Onanda…

While Mark and Michelle were off to Rochester a week ago Thursday,  the day was imploring me to “come out and enjoy”!  How could I turn down an invitation to a bright and sunny (warm) day?  Ben had work to do….he told me so.  Still,  couldn’t he just do it later?

I had no idea what to do. Where to go.  Ben was thinking much better than I!  He immediately got on the computer and searched for local waterfalls.  What a stroke of genius!  He found a small one located only a few miles from our house, so we were off and on our way!

We went to Onanda Park, located on Canandaigua Lake.

There were no immediate markings for trails, so I suggested we head down to a small gazebo located near the road.  There was a map there, which I so totally misread!

We hiked south a bit to a staircase with about a zillion stairs.  Up, up, up, and away we went. Ben grumbled and told me we were heading the wrong way.  Oops.

Yes, indeedy.  We wound up at a small parking area on the wrong side of the ravine.  I had better go back to Mapreading Basics 101!  Well, the walk was invigorating.  After all, it was entirely uphill! Off in the distance, we could see someone’s house.  So…back down we went.

We stopped at the gazebo where the map was posted, once again, and Ben pointed out that the ravine should have been on our left side, not our right….

We began our hike anew.  And, guess what? It was all uphill!!  This time it was steep grades and no stairs, though!

And we even found a trail marker!

Phew….all of the buildings are on steep, steep slopes!

It was such a gorgeous day and we really enjoyed the walk. We had brought Murphy with us, but left him in the truck.  I was glad we did because we saw some other dogs and I wasn’t sure how he would have reacted.  Besides that, the trails had some spots that were very muddy.  I was so glad to be wearing my mud boots!

I’m not sure what was  “springing” up from the ground, but it sure looks like a sign of spring!

We walked and walked and walked some more before we finally reached the waterfall.  It has an awesome overlook with a pretty shelter.

This trail has some pretty steep cliffs that could be detrimental and they aren’t cordoned off.  You can see that the falls was still covered in lots of ice. From the shelter,  there was a nice peek at the lake.

We had walked uphill a good bit and although there was no snow on the ground,  there was still bits of icy snow on the northern facing sides of trees!

Somehow, the people we saw on the trail all seemed to know the path we took on the way down was shorter and less steep than the way we came!  This really is an awesome little walk and one we hope to do again, especially when the woods comes out of its winter slumber.

Better in Sepia!

Today was such a beautiful day to enjoy a little ride.  As I passed by this old (at least I think it is old) log house on Route 21, just north of the Town of South Bristol, I thought today would be a great day to photograph it.  The original photo was in color, but it was pretty close to sepia as well, except for the blue sky!

It’s Been Awhile….

It just seems like life keeps getting busier and busier lately! Yikes!

The kids had a Superbowl party tonight with six of their friends coming over.  It was a nice little gathering…Michelle made four different kinds of dips to serve with Nacho Chips.  The biggest hit must have been the Hamburger Dip she made, as that one disappeared quickly!  There were also chicken wings, Buffalo style, and Italian sausage in sauce with peppers and onions that could be made into sandwiches on rolls.  All in all, the party was a success.

I have a hard time sitting still and since I am pretty clueless when it comes to football,  I went upstairs at one point, and fell sound asleep.  Now, I am not a schlep!  Mark and I were out late last night…the kids went to see a few bands play in Canandaigua, and since they were out late, we drove them.  We picked them up at 11, so we didn’t get home til nearly midnight.  I was up this morning before the sun rose, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  So, a Superbowl nap was in order!

Here is a photo of a beautiful Orchid Mark got me the other day.  I have never had an Orchid before, so we will see how it grows.  (haha…pun intended!)

This plant is so pretty!  I love the streaks in the blossoms.

Well, we still have no snow on the ground.  This is so bizarre for February.  And the temperature is supposed to be 40 or more tomorrow.  I think we are supposed to get some snow later in the week.  I just wish we could get in a month or two of snowmobiling.   Even the traditional trails in the Adirondacks and Tug Hill are a mess with the fluctuating temperatures and precipitation we have had this year.  We read a couple days ago that the trails are icy and just a general mess.  I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t get frigidly cold, but just snow a couple of feet!  If it would just stay a tad below freezing with snow, we would finally have some snowmobiling weather!!  I really feel sorry for the folks selling snowmobiles and parts and such….what a BAD year!

Well, I had better get to bed.  Even though I snoozed some during the big game, I will be up and at it, bright and early tomorrow!